LOS ANGELE: Never before has Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. faced the potential of taking a physical beat-down in the boxing ring until now.
Chavez (48-1-1, 32 Kos) faces the bigger, stronger and heavier Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 Kos) on Saturday, April 18, at the StubHub Center in Carson. Showtime will televise the Goossen Promotions event.
“I know that this is a new weight class for me. I realize that Fonfara is very tough and bigger than me, but I am up for the challenge,” said a humble Chavez. “He’ll probably weigh 20 pounds more in the fight.”
Sure Chavez already suffered a loss several years ago against Argentina’s middleweight Sergio Martinez. But at the end of the fight it was Martinez, not Chavez, who looked more battered. This time, the son of Mexico’s legendary Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. is matched against a legit light heavyweight with the power to match and surpass his own.
“I think that Andrzej Fonfara is one of the best fighters in the light heavyweight division. Inside of boxing, everyone knows who Fonfara is. He knocked down one of the best boxers in the world in Adonis Stevenson,” noted Chavez during the press conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at LAX.
Papa Chavez seemed very concerned throughout the press conference. At times he seemed ready to jump up and call off the whole fight. But he remained calm and very subdued.
“If I was Julio’s manager, I wouldn’t have taken this fight. Fonfara is a difficult and tough fighter,” said Chavez Sr. “My son wants to fight fighters of quality and wants credibility in boxing.”
Credibility can bring a double-edged sword.
Fonfara seems ecstatic that he has a legendary boxing name on the other corner.
“Chavez Jr. is a great fighter. He uses a lot of combinations and has a powerful punch that I must be ready for. I want to show the whole world how good I am when I win this fight on Saturday,” said Fonfara, who stands about an inch taller than Chavez. “If I get the chance, I’m going to knock him out. It’s boxing so you never know what will happen.”
Fonfara’s trainer thinks he knows what’s going to happen.
“His father told him not to take this fight, but he took it anyway and that was a mistake,” said Sam Colonna, who trains Fonfara.
Amir Imam vs. Walter Castillo
Florida junior welterweight Amir Imam (16-0, 14 Kos) faces yet another tough test when he faces Nicaragua’s hard-hitting Walter Castillo (25-2, 18 Kos). The Central American was touted by his handlers as the best fighter next to Ricardo Mayorga to come out of Nicaragua until someone said Alexis Arguello.
Castillo may not be another Arguello but he’s got some of Mayorga’s vocal chops.
“I can tell you one thing, Amir Imam made a big mistake by taking this fight,” said Castillo. “I’ve fought better fighters than Amir has.”
Imam let everything fly over his shoulder like a right cross.
“I know he’s [Castillo] a good opponent, he’s got a great resume, and he’s coming to fight. He has a great record, so that alone shows what he’s capable of,” said Imam. “Come Saturday night may the better man win.”
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